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Starbucks may sway the wireless-charging wars: CNET Update

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CNET Update: Starbucks may sway the wireless-charging wars

2:55 /

Duracell's charging mats are coming to Starbucks, but you'll need a special phone case to use them. Meanwhile, Facebook tracks more about you, and Amazon adds a music perk for Prime.

Amazon added a new perk for Prime. I'm Bridget Carey and this is your CNET Update. [MUSIC] Amazon has a new music streaming service. It's called Prime Music. And as you can guess from the name, it's part of Amazon Prime, which costs $100 a year. Prime Music can be streamed from your desktop computer or from the Amazon music app. Members can stream premade playlists, but they can also pick and choose songs to save for offline listening. Members have access to more than a million songs without ads, but that's nothing compared to Spotify and Beats, which have more than 20 million tracks. Of course, much of those tracks are obscure songs, but what really sets Amazon behind is the lack of Universal music. The Prime service does not include any songs from Universal. It's the largest record label. Amazon may talk more about music next week when the company is expected to announce a smartphone. Prime has tens of millions in members. It offers free two-day shipping, free streaming of TV shows and movies, and some free eBooks with the Kindle. Moving on from music, there's another area in tech that is going through some changes. It's wireless charging and the ability to just charge your phone or your tablet by placing it on a charging surface instead of plugging it in. Now, there are several different technologies being used for wireless charging, and much like the battle of VHS and Betamax or Blu-Ray versus HD DVD, well, there's a battle between what Duracell Powermat uses, which is a PMA standard, and the charging that you find in phones made by Nokia and LG, and that's called Qi. Right now, the Qi standard is in more devices, but Duracell may have found a way to tip the scales. Starbucks announced that it will roll out Duracell Powermat charging stations at tables in Starbucks and Teavana shops across the country. The big challenge is having a phone that will work with these charging stations. You'd have to spend $20 or $30 on a special case or attachments to even use these wireless charging spots. So, why did Starbucks side with Duracell? Because that charging technology can track customers. It tells how long you've been at a charging spot, and it can send coupons to your phone. In other news about tracking you. Facebook is tracking your browsing across the web in order to better target you for advertisements. If you don't know why you're seeing a particular ad, well, you can click on a link next to an ad to see why you've been targeted for this message, and it'll let you tell Facebook to stop showing you a particular ad. That's your tech news update but there's always more at cnet.com. From our studios in New York, I'm Bridget Carey. [MUSIC]

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